The fields of simulation and serious gaming, that is, gaming applied to areas other than entertainment, have been growing rapidly. These disciplines have been applied in an ever-wider variety of domains including defense, health care, education, emergency management, city planning and engineering.

Simulation Australasia, the peak association for the simulation community in Australia and New Zealand, based at South Australia's Tonsley Precinct, define simulation as representing "the functioning of a system or process". As such, developing workable and robust systems requires solid computing and mathematical skills far in advance of simple games development.

The advantages of computer simulation are that it can be used when other options are unavailable. For example, when it is unsafe to test something empirically, for medical training where the risks of using human subjects are too high or where the cases of a condition are rare, where the variability is complex and thousands, even millions, of simulations are needed to learn how a system might react, or before a system is even built.

For example, the new Darlington Interchange will be exhaustively simulated before construction starts. Various scenarios, such as accidents at various points, variable traffic flows, weather conditions, traffic signal failures and so on, can be investigated to improve the overall design.

The new award, a Bachelor of Computer Science (Simulation and Serious Games), contains all the elements of the field needed to develop complex systems. The award, which has already been accredited by the Australian Computer Society at the Professional Level, contains extensive study in computer systems, programming, game design and development, computer networks and advanced human computer interaction including virtual reality, augmented reality and haptic technology. It also contains a solid mathematics component which is essential to properly understanding complex phenomenon.


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For more awards and details please see the full list of awards page.